Fewer than 30% of firms expect their workforce to be fully in person at their offices and workplaces over the next five years while 16% expect them to be mostly remote and 8% fully remote.
These are the findings of new research by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Insights Unit and technology firm Cisco which covered over 1000 businesses, of which 96% were SMEs.
The research found a clear divide between different sectors, with business-to-business (B2B) services firms (such as the finance and legal sectors) more likely to expect remote working. Only 17% of B2B services organisations expect fully in person working, while the figure for manufacturers is 38% and 37% for business-to-consumer (B2C) services.
BCC Deputy Director Public Policy, Jane Gratton, said: “Our data shows that hybrid working is now part of the fabric of the modern workplace. For millions of people, logging in remotely for at least part of the working week is now routine. This flexibility is valued by employers and their teams. Less than 30% of firms expect staff to be working fully in person over the next five years.”
Employers still value regular face-to-face contact with staff, however, and the BCC findings show only 8% of businesses expect staff to be permanently working remotely.
Companies were also asked about the connectivity tools they use such as video calling and cloud security.
A quarter of firms (25%) say they are not confident they have the knowledge to make the right purchasing decisions, while 55% are relying on external experts when making decisions about adopting technology.
The survey also found that 65% of firms say connectivity tools are value for money.
“Flexible working makes good business sense,” Ms Gratton concluded. “In a tight labour market, where employers are competing for skilled workers, hybrid working, and flexible working more generally, has become an important part of staff benefit packages.”
Our HR Comment: Businesses believe that hybrid working is here to stay |Consensus HR – Herts, Beds
Matthew Chilcott, FCIPD, ACEL, Owner of Consensus HR comments: “Some very interesting statistic here in relation to hybrid working and what employees wish for in today working environment. At Consensus HR, we have found that many employers where their sector allows this, that they allow their teams to work from home up to two days a week with the other three having to be in the office for meeting and team work / support. The Pandemic has definitely resulted in a change in the working environment and contracted hours / days”
YOUR OUTSOURCED HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT.
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